Investigation

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Mike Barnes  |  May 21, 2020
Mike Barnes unpicks the story of the 180g vinyl reissue…

On October the 3rd 1996, after a concert by Steve Reich And Musicians at The Royal Festival Hall to mark the American composer's 60th birthday, this writer presented him with the LP sleeve of his 1978 album Music For 18 Musicians, and asked him to autograph it. This prompted some amusement on his part. 'I haven't seen one of these in a while,' he said chuckling, 'have you borrowed it from a museum?'

Keith Howard  |  Oct 15, 2019
Keith Howard explains how and why HFN has expanded its test regime

Time flies when you're having fun. I bought the equipment to measure headphones for Hi-Fi News as long ago as May 2007, since when I've tested around 115 different models for the magazine. These have included circumaural (over-ear) designs, supra-aural (on-ear) and insert, active and passive, priced from under £100 to almost £5000.

Johnny Black  |  Nov 06, 2019
Johnny Black examines the booming business of music merchandising

Here's a story I wish I didn't have to tell. Unfortunately, not to tell it would mean ignoring the alarming truth that recorded music is no longer – at least commercially – always the most important element in the recorded music industry.

Tim Jarman  |  May 07, 2020
One-make set-up, mix 'n' match? Tim Jarman offers a step-by-step guide

Putting a hi-fi system together can be one of life's great pleasures, but it can also become expensive and complicated if not done with care. Vintage hi-fi enthusiasts have three basic options. The first is to assemble a 'one make' system, normally using a combination suggested in an old catalogue as a starting point. Another is to assemble a mixed system of vintage components. The third is to add some vintage components to a modern set-up, or complete a vintage system using modern products.

Andrew Everard  |  May 02, 2019
Andrew Everard brings you his guide to superior sound on a shoestring

The old saw that schooldays are the happiest of your life, jumpers for goalposts an' all, has its parallels in hi-fi. Ask many an enthusiast of a certain age, and they'll go a bit misty-eyed at the thought of their first 'proper' system, bought with a mixture of summer job earnings and that first student grant – yes, once upon a time you got given money to study.

Christopher Breunig  |  Jun 26, 2020
Christopher Breunig recommends the best classical audiophile recordings

When I first heard a demonstration of stereo records, given at a local department store all those years ago, I came away thinking I'd heard mostly distracting surface noise. If this was 'high fidelity' I'd stick with my old Pye Black Box! But soon, of course, I was on the upgrade path avidly taking up recommendations in Hi-Fi News and Audio Record Review magazines, and reading Thomas Heinitz's regular columns in the now defunct Records & Recording.

Barry Fox  |  Sep 01, 2018
Out of sight, out of mind and very much at risk... Barry Fox explores the preservation of digital music files and why you should take action now

The recent movie Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, nearly never got made. Which would have been a pity because it tells the intriguing story of how the glamorous film actress (legal name Hedy Kiesler Markey) and her husband, composer George Antheil, filed for a US patent in 1941 on the frequency-hopping, spread-spectrum communication technology that underpins modern wireless networking, including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Steve Harris  |  Mar 04, 2020
Steve Harris brings you the story of the influential audiophile jazz label

History books tell you that jazz first crossed the Atlantic with the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, who made their first records in 1917 and came to England in 1919. And that it was the coincidentally-named orchestra leader and composer James Reese Europe who first brought genuine African-American music to French ears with his black US army band in 1918.

Keith Howard  |  Apr 08, 2019
Want the best bass from your subwoofer? Keith Howard has the answers

Is it my imagination or has the subwoofer faded from audiophile affections? In the 1990s a generation of audio lovers discovered that subwoofers could do unexpected things: not just add low-bass heft, but also improve midrange sound quality and the spaciousness of the stereo image.

Hi-Fi News  |  Mar 15, 2019
The prince of synths talks high-end hi-fi while premiering his new album

Jean-Michel Jarre likes what he hears. And it's not only the sound of his new album, which he is playing to an eager audience packed into the Audiofast room at the Audio Video show in Warsaw, but the very audio system on which it is being played.

'My new album is a good test for loudspeakers,' he says smiling, 'because I know that it has lots of different frequencies. This means that it's hard to hear the whole effect on some hi-fi systems, but this one is highly capable.'

Steve Sutherland  |  Nov 03, 2020
Steve Sutherland on the vinyl treats arriving on 2020's Record Store Days

Launched in America in 2008 as a way of encouraging collectors to frequent their local independent record shops and keep vinyl alive, Record Store Day is now an annual event offering rare, limited edition releases which will not only tickle the fancy of uber-fans but, like other works of art, accrue value as investments.

Ken Kessler  |  Feb 05, 2020
Is there an open-reel tape revival, asks Ken Kessler

If, in 1999, you were told that vinyl would enjoy such a massive revival that in 2019 HMV would be opening a flagship store in Birmingham stocking 25,000 records, and that turntables and LPs would appear in mainstream TV ads for watches and life insurance, you'd have laughed in disbelief. But then you would have paused, because both records and turntables were never entirely out of production.

Barry Fox  |  Nov 01, 2018
Barry Fox takes the stress out of connecting your hi-fi to the Internet

My shiny new hi-fi has all the usual knobs, buttons and meters on the front, and all the usual analogue and digital input and output sockets on the rear. But there's also what looks like an overgrown telephone socket on the back, labelled 'Ethernet'.

I'm assuming that this is for service engineers or connecting the component to a PC, which I don't want to do. I just want to continue listening to my music from high quality sources, through my trusty big box speakers, without getting into the hassle of computing.

Keith Howard  |  Aug 07, 2019
They're crucial to hi-fi, but how do they work? Keith Howard explains all...

There isn't much in a modern hi-fi system that would be familiar to the great 19th century English physicist Michael Faraday. But a time-travelling Faraday – bemused by radio frequency communication, lasers and sound reproduction in general – would find something reassuringly familiar in the transformer. For it was he who first demonstrated that electromagnetic induction can be used to link one electrical circuit to another.

Ken Kessler  |  Aug 01, 2018
As one of Quad's longest-serving employees hangs up his soldering iron, Ken Kessler talks with Ken Bunting about a lifetime working on iconic kit

It was 15 years since I had interviewed Ken Bunting, in charge of Quad's service department, but back then it was to pick his brains about the company's history. Early this May, I had the privilege of repeating the interrogation, on the occasion of Ken's retirement. Off to the wilds of Cambridge, where I found him on his last day, in a busy-as-ever service area with everything from Quad ESL63s to valve units being repaired – contrary to any rumours or worries that the company had abandoned its legendary back-up division.

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